Leading online travel company Orbitz Worldwide announced a partnership between HotelClub, its growing membership-based accommodations brand, and Alipay, the most widely used third-party online payment solution in People’s Republic of China (PRC) with more than 800 million registered accounts. This agreement will be a cornerstone for the company’s growth plans in PRC, which is primed to become the Asia Pacific region’s largest travel market this year when gross bookings are expected to reach $105.5 billion1. The partnership represents Alipay’s first alliance with a major international online travel company.
HotelClub is a global accommodation brand operating websites in 29 currencies, 15 languages and over 140 countries. Its membership-based offering provides members with Club Benefits such as free extras when they stay, exclusive deals on hotels, Priority Club Service and up to 7 percent back in Member Rewards points on every booking which can be used at any time, without restrictions. While the brand currently enjoys a strong presence in the Asia Pacific region – including an existing Chinese site that offers global hotel inventory priced in the Renminbi (RMB) currency – the deal is expected to help HotelClub gain greater share of the Asia market. The deal with Alipay is one of a series of steps by Orbitz Worldwide to drive growth through international expansion and meet its target to reach over 50 percent of the world’s population by the end of the year.
“We have an aggressive plan to grow in PRC and a familiar payment platform that allows Chinese consumers to book travel simply and securely with Alipay will help us to better achieve that goal,” said Barney Harford, CEO of Orbitz Worldwide. “Chinese travelers will not only have access to HotelClub’s extensive hotel inventory around the world, they will also enjoy a dedicated Chinese call center ready to assist with any customer service issues, and all the advantages of the Club Benefits program that gives members exclusive hotel deals, extras when they stay and the chance to earn rewards on every hotel booking.”
Alipay’s online payment service will launch on HotelClub sites in the fourth quarter this year.
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